It’s probably pretty shocking to some of you who follow my blog, a “safe space” for positivity and a place where lifting up others is standard operation. It’s always been my goal for Steph’s Scribe to inject a dose of inspiration into people’s lives.
But today, just days before Thanksgiving, I’m feeling something tampering with my state of hopefulness. A bleakness has entered my atmosphere. A sense of time slipping away and dreams fading a bit.
I hate this feeling.
A culmination of many things swirling around my personal domaine, I felt it was appropriate to be real with you for a moment, to illustrate that life is not always perfect, no matter how we paint it on social media. There are certainly circumstances and people that can bring us down. It’s just a fact of life.
As I was feeling this way this morning as I dressed for work, and as I know there is much to look forward to in the coming days such as my son’s homecoming for Thanksgiving from college, spending Thanksgiving with our families, cutting down our Christmas tree, and decorating for the holidays, I had to stop and remember what my yogi Adriene taught me: to “breathe out whatever is bogging us down.” So I simply sat with my own thoughts, inhaling hope and exhaling hopelessness for a few minutes of mindfulness.
As I dressed and pulled on my blue suede boots (those things help brighten my day even in the most challenging moments), I turned to see my most recent book, The Postcard, sitting on my nightstand in my bedroom. I had been rereading a short story I had written called “Life with Nan,” on which I am basing my new novel—the novel that I’m over 38,000 words into and have made a dent in during National Novel Writing Month.
My feelings of a lack of hope began to turn more positive upon seeing that collection of short stories and poetry I published this past summer. It reminded me that on the pages of that book are stories of hope, and that my little problems can all be solved in some way, maybe some with bigger decisions than others, but that’s okay. There are solutions.
It also reminded me to slap myself and get back to being me and not a pathetic version of me. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, I thought. And remember, one of your passions and jobs is to tell stories that invoke a sense of HOPE, not a lack of it. All my books offer that to readers. And Life with Nan? Well, that book is on target to do the same thing.
I went downstairs and brewed up a cup of caramel flavored coffee and put it in my Yeti for my drive to work. I looked down and checked to make sure that my blue suede boots were ready to go to campus.
But before I walked out the door, I read one more time the quote I had posted on my Instagram account minutes earlier after the mindfulness practice and exhaling the bad vibes.
We all need a coffee cup of hope, or a book full of hope, and I’m going to strive to continue to do that and not get bogged down in overwhelming thoughts not meant for me.